What’s next for the struggling Warriors after Steph Curry’s shoulder injury?

INDIANAPOLIS – About 30 minutes later Warriors fell to 2-13 on the road, Stephen Curry He sat motionless in his Indianapolis locker with his left arm hanging by his side. The training staff wrapped a large ice pack around his top and back Injured shoulder. An already shaky state for the Golden State Warriors hit an even bigger upset.

He had 38 points on 19 shots late in the third quarter against Curry Indiana Pacers, expending so much energy that he delayed returning to the locker room at halftime to catch his breath. He had 27 points, but his team was down 20 points.

Curry was part of a quick third-quarter comeback. The warriors began Jonathan Guminga Kevon Looney’s replacement, switching to a smaller, faster, more spread offense, cut the Pacers’ lead from 20 to five within six minutes. Curry had scored 11 in the quarter and was 38 for the game when he reached an on-and-off. Jalen Smith Grab all the ball and drive while inadvertently sending this Warriors season on another definite detour.

Curry felt an immediate pain in his left shoulder. He caught it, crashed out of the game, tripped over the scorer’s table and eventually fell to the bench after a Warriors timeout was called. After a brief conversation with the team’s director of medical services, Drew Yoder, Curry went to the locker room with their lead medical decision-maker, Rick Celebrini.

Here is the moment.

In the clip, Curry can be seen holding his left arm steady. It hung around Curry’s locker room after the game, before and after he iced it. He is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday and plans to travel with the team to Philadelphia. The test will give them a solid idea of ​​a possible timeout, but the postgame feeling from those around the team is that the injury will force some kind of multi-game absence, which could extend into the rest of the road trip.

“It’s going to be a little bit tougher if Steph is out for a while,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I mean, if he leaves, it’s definitely going to be tough. But we have to be patient. You just keep playing, keep fighting.

This is not a desperate game locker room. Aside from the extra discomfort and treatment, Curry was in a normal mood. Assuming the tests don’t reveal more significant damage than initially expected, this could only be a speed bump. But the 14-15 Warriors already faced a tough challenge when their best player went down. The near term is entirely tricky.

So what’s next?

It will be an important stretch for Jordan Poole

When Curry went down with a sprained leg in March, Jordan Poole Raised to a completely different level. He presided NBA 24.7 points on 47.3 percent overall and 41.9 percent from deep on 3s in March and April.

The Warriors don’t need him to reach that peak, but they do need Poole to be more efficient and secure on the ball than he has been lately. Poole went 8-of-22 shooting and committed four turnovers against the Pacers. He went 6-of-17 with four turnovers to open the trip in Milwaukee. He has made just five of his last 23 attempts.

“The biggest thing we’re trying to work on with Jordan is slowing down,” Kerr said. “He’s in a hurry. He’s got so much talent. Sometimes the guys with the most talent when they’re young make the most mistakes because they’re trying to figure out what they can and can’t do. He’s so talented, so fast, so shifty, and he often gets into trouble. takes

Are we seeing more of Moses Moody?

Even if not Andrew Wiggins And Clay ThompsonThe Warriors didn’t go Moses Moody For the first 18 minutes against the pacers. Kerr had two-way players You are Jerome In front of the lid in the initial cycle.

But the warriors fought with Jerome, Anthony Lamb And Jamaichal Green In court together. They were minus-17 in Jerome’s first nine minutes. That prompted Kerr to throw the lid off. He hit a corner 3 and snuck in a layup in his first few minutes on the court. Down 20 at halftime, Kerr reshuffled his third-quarter rotation and Moody became the first sub off the bench.

He finished with 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting, three assists and several useful plays. Both Moody and Kuminga, who started the second half, were instrumental in keeping the game competitive and stealing a late win. Green and Donte DiVincenzo He also played big roles.

“I’m really happy with his game,” Kerr said when asked if Moody scored too many runs. “He’s had his chances and he’s taken them. Every game is different. The tricky thing this year is you’ve got different guys, different combinations and a lot of new guys. So we’re trying to find the right combination. But Moses has done a great job and he’ll be out next game. I imagine.

Thompson will return Friday against the Sixers. Wiggins was re-evaluated Thursday and is pending his return. So it might be hard for Moody to find a ton of minutes, but it’s hard to imagine him not being ranked higher than Jerome in the pecking order.

So what is a non-curry cycle?

If Wiggins returns soon, it will be a Poole, Thompson, Wiggins, Draymond Green, the loonie starting sequence. Kuminga continues to force his way into a big piece of the spin bag, and Kerr showed Wednesday that Kuminga is an option for starters if they decide they need a faster style and a different look.

After Cuminga, DiVincenzo emerges as the most reliable option. He started in place of Thompson on Wednesday night and had 15 points and eight rebounds, making a pair of essential 3s to lead the Warriors down the stretch. They were plus-19 in DiVincenzo’s 38 minutes and minus-24 in his 10 minutes on the bench.

“My focus is not on the offensive end,” he said. “It comes to me. But when I put pressure on the rim, good things happen. When I go down, I can get other people’s shots, the defense chases and the ball finds me again. When you play basketball the right way — that’s the right way, my Conceptually, the drive, the kick and the swing, that movement — that’s when guys get good shots.

He has also become one of the quiet leaders in the locker room.

“We needed more energy,” DiVincenzo said. “When things don’t go our way, when calls don’t go our way, the Golden State Warriors have a consistent game. I think the biggest message is that we have to play like crazy warriors. That’s the big thing. We have to have that power.”

What will the schedule look like?

The Warriors, who are 2-13 on the road, completed their longest road trip of the season with these four games: in six, Raptors, Knicks, nets. Those final two are next week, Tuesday and Wednesday. They have a long break before starting an eight-game homestand against Christmas Grizzlies.

(Photo of Steph Curry holding his shoulder during the second half against the Pacers on Wednesday night: Trevor Ruskowski/USA Today)

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